MARK SAWYER, DDS
Lakeshore Dental Associates
Oral piercings (usually in the tongue or around the lips) have quickly become a popular trend in today’s society.
With this popular trend, it is important to realize that sometimes even precautions taken during the installation of the piercing jewelry are not enough to stave off harmful, long-term consequences such as cracked or chipped teeth, swelling, problems with swallowing and taste, and scars. There is also a possibility of choking on a piece of dislodged jewelry, which makes it important to ask if the risks are warranted.
One of the most serious long-term health problems that may occur from oral piercings come in the form of damage to the soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums and palate, as well as opportunistic infections. When performed in an unsterile environment, any kind of body piercing may also put you at risk of contracting deadly infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
A tongue piercing is a common form of body piercing. However, tongue piercings have been known to cause blocked airways (from a swollen tongue). In some cases, a tongue piercing can cause uncontrolled bleeding.